The Associated Press reports that there are no signs of foul play in Hernandez’s death. ADV reports that Hernandez had been living in Miami, Florida, for five years. According to the AP, police were called to the scene early on the morning of November 18 after a witness reported seeing a body floating in the water. Hernandez’s family said that the actress went out to buy cigarettes late on November 17 and was not heard from again.
A man who was walking through the area, Marco Carbono, told Telemundo via Marca, “I tried to rescue her, but unfortunately she was dead.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Hernandez’s Is Perhaps Best Remembered for Her Role as Poet Jose Marti’s Mother in 2010’s ‘Marti: The Eye of the Canary’
According to Hernandez’s IMDb page, she appeared in Cuban soap operas such as Women of Honor and When Water Returns to Land. Hernandez was also known for her role as Cuban poet Jose Marti’s mother in the 2010 biopic Marti, the Eye of the Canary. That role proved to be her final part in Cuban cinema. Hernandez’s most recent work came in the 2015 movie The Companion.
ADV reports that Hernandez was a member of the Buscon theater group in her homeland and was a student of Cuban performers Vicent Revulta, Isabel Moreno and Miriam Lezcano. Hernandez was born in Havana, Cuba, on August 3, 1964. A 2020 Mirada Cubana profile on Hernandez says that she was a 1987 graduate of the Higher Institue of Art in Havana. The profile says that Hernandez performed with the Hispanic Gala Theater Company in Washington D.C. in 2000.
2. Cuban Singer Liuba Maria Hevia Said She ‘Will Never Know How to Say Goodbye’ to Hernandez
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez tweeted his condolences to Hernandez’s family saying, “Farewell to an exceptional actress named Broselianda. We mourn her early loss. Our condolences to her family and friends.” Cuban singer Liuba Maria Hevia wrote in an Instagram post that she “will never know how to say goodbye” to Hernandez.
Madeline Sautie writing in the Cuban state newspaper Granma paid tribute to Hernandez saying, “I don’t know if someone else in the world is called Broselianda. What I do know is that she was a unique actress. Not in the style of that uniqueness that we all have to be unrepeatable, but in that of embodying roles that I do not conceive in anyone else.”
3. Hernandez Described Herself as ‘Very Bipolar’
In a 2010 interview with Cuba Debate, Hernandez said that sometimes she felt as though she was 80 years old due to her depression and bipolar. Hernandez said, “I say that I am very bipolar.” During the same interview, Hernandez said that she raised her then-teenage daughter Sofia alone.
Hernandez said, “It’s my life, it’s my everything. I have dedicated all kinds of things to her, from performances, interviews, I have dedicated my entire life to her.” The Miami Herald reported at the time of Hernandez’s death that in addition to her daughter, she was also survived by her partner Jorge Fernandez Falcon, as well as parents Rosa Boudet and Rolen Hernandez.
4. Hernandez’s Grandmother Did Not Want Her to Become an Actor as it Was Not a Career for ‘Intelligent’ People
Hernandez said in her Cuba Debate interview that her mother is an actor who is based in Santa Monica, California. Hernandez said that her grandmother, who was a doctor, tried to dissuade Hernandez from becoming an actress because it was not a profession for “intelligent” women.
Hernandez said, “That has hammered me all my life, that sentence, because coming from her, such an intelligent, intellectual woman too … and over time I have had to prove to myself that no, on the contrary, there is nothing that can be done without intelligence.”
5. Hernandez Once Said: ‘True Theater Is Done in Freedom’
In a 2012 interview with The Miami Herald, Hernandez was asked about being based in Havana and the censorship obstacles she encountered. Hernandez said that she faces the same problems as 99 percent of all Cubans with regard to “difficulties with transportation, material deficiencies that we already know. But we continue doing theater.”
When asked about censorship, Hernandez said that “The true and good theater is always done in freedom.” Hernandez said that there are official theaters in Cuba but also “hidden, invisible, or threatened” ‘theaters. The actress referenced a text message she received on the subject from a friend that read, “You have to destroy theater or live in the theater.”